Schuster continues rise, leads by three at the Women’s Dixie

Katherine Schuster tops the Dixie Women’s Amateur leaderboard at the halfway point at Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac, Fla.

The 16-year-old from Kill Devil Hills, N.C. sits at 6 under par after rounds of 71-67 on two windy days, three shots ahead of a bunched-up chasing pack heading into the final two rounds. Schuster has racked up 11 birdies over the first two rounds, including four in a row on holes 5-8 in her second round.

For Schuster, it is what she hopes to be a continuation of a rapid rise with her game over the past two seasons. She won the 2018 Drive, Chip and Putt competition at Augusta National and followed it up with a North Carolina high school championship, a North Carolina Junior Girls Championship, and the North & South Junior Championship in 2019.

Another two teenagers are her closest competitors.

18-year-old Maria Bohorquez of Colombia, and 14-year-old Jordan Fischer, a German native living in N. Fort Myers, Fla., each shot a 3-under 69 on Wednesday to pull into into the second and third spots, three and four shots back respectively.

After Fischer, the leaderboard is very crowded, with 29 players within four shots of each other. Six players are a one under par, and among seven more at even par are the defending champion Alexa Pano (Lake Worth, Fla.) and 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Lauren Greenlief (Ashburn, Va.).

Pano and Greenlief were among 12 players invited by the USGA for a Curtis Cup practice session in the days leading up to the Dixie.

The Women’s Dixie takes on special importance because of its spot on the calendar, as the last major women’s amateur event before the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA) determines which players to invite based on world golf ranking.

Scoring is good considering the gusty winds that blew across the course as a cold front moved through. Winds are expected to gust up to 30 miles per hour over the last two days.